"If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men." Romans 12:18That verse has been ringing in my spirit quite a bit lately. Another version says, "as much as lies in you..." I like that translation. Think about it. If we indeed are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19), and if indeed we are filled with the fullness of God (Eph. 3:19), what if we allowed the God in us to shine forth in our time with other people? Wow! He is the Prince of Peace! (Isaiah 9:6) Our problem is that we get in the way. We become self-absorbed, thinking about our own perspective without a thought of the other person's perspective, or more importantly, without a thought of God's perspective.
Let's think for a moment about what peace is. One might think it is the absence of strife, division or pain. Is that peace? No. Peace is not the absence of anything. On the contrary, It is the presence of something. Ultimate peace is the presence of God. There is nothing like the peace you can experience when you are in the manifest presence of Almighty God! The Bible says that it is a peace that "passes all understanding." (Phil. 4:6-7) If we remember that it is the presence of something instead of the absence of something, we will realize that we can have true peace in the midst of all kinds of turmoil around us. If peace were really the absence of strife, we would only have peace in the good times. In this world, that would sure limit how much peace we can have! Paul got it. That's why he could say in Phillippians 4:11, "I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content."
The enemy sure wants to rob families, churches, communities, schools, and workplaces of peace. We cannot do anything about how other people react to issues that arise, but we can do more on our part to bring peace to a situation. I challenge you to take this to prayer. Every day this week, start the day by asking God to help you to remember to take Him to people with whom you come in contact. Pray that you will line up with Him. I like to say, "Lord, I place myself under You today. Let people see You and not me. I want to be a conduit of your love, peace, and healing to everyone who crosses my path. Help me remember that I take You with me wherever I go!"
I would love to hear from anyone who takes this challenge. Please come back and leave a comment about how this changes things in relationships in your life. You will more than likely notice a change within you first. You will start to see that you can experience peace even if the other person is not showing peace to you. Prayerfully, they will start seeing the peace in you and want it for themselves. I also suggest to read Ephesians 4:20-32 and Romans 12 and ask God to help you put this to practice. May God's Peace become real to you today!